Rajasthan is known for its delicious cuisine, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian. Jaipur especially is a paradise for those looking to try tantalizing new dishes and experience unusual spice combinations. Dry fruits, spices and yogurt are used in many delicacies and lend themselves to delectable sweet and savory preparations. The sweet dishes are seldom referred to as dessert in Rajasthan, because they are had before, during, and after the meal. A delicious treat! A major staple of the cuisine is gram flour. It is used to make a number of delicacies, including the popular Rajasthani dish of Dal-Bati-Churma—lentils, baked wheat balls and powdered sweetened cereal.
However, Rajasthan draws guests to more than just its cuisine—the capital city of Jaipur houses a rich cultural heritage just waiting to be explored. Of all the princely states in India, Jaipur and the surrounding region is undoubtedly the most impressive. Once a state of warring factions locked in deadly warfare, it is home to towering forts built not only for ostentation, but also to intimidate the enemy. No visit to Jaipur is complete with a trip to Amber Fort. Feel the might of the great kings as a brilliantly caparisoned elephant carries you up to the colossal ramparts of this fort. You can almost hear the thunder of cannons and imagine those who have made the trip before you.
As you move from the impregnable Amber Fort, built by Raja Mansingh, to the superbly designed City Palace in the heart of the Pink City,
perhaps it is time to savor a typical Jaipuri Swadbhara Naashta a delicious breakfast. This consists of a variety of crisp Kachoris (wheat preparations stuffed with onions, peas and other vegetables and then deep fried), and delicious Dahi Vadas (a preparation made with fermented rice and lentils, deep fried then soaked in yogurt), savouries, and refreshing beverages complete the meal.
Suitably refreshed, resume your journey and arrive at the City Palace. The journey you take as you view the impressive memorabilia of costumes, armory and miniature paintings in the palace’s many museums, takes you back to another time. It reflects an era of chivalry, romance and art, inextricably interwoven into a colorful tapestry of Jaipur’s checkered past.
You’ll be taken to the era of Raja Jai Singh – the astronomer king of Jaipur who built the magnificent stone Observatory Jantar Mantar (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) in 1728 A.D. And then you’ll travel to the time of another royal personality – Maharaja Sawai Partap Singh – who built the intriguing façade of the Hawa Mahal in 1799 A.D. This innovative construction allowed royal ladies to view the city and bazaar from its windows, without being seen.
As you depart this beautiful capital city of Rajasthan, we hope the impressions that you carry back will reflect the roseate glow of this Pink City.